1. Plane fever.
Rigors, high fever set in while waiting for the plane. About an hour into it, I am shaking and feeling like I could pass out if I moved my head too quickly. Natali watches the Lorax for two hours and I'm able to take max amounts of tylenol and ibuprofen and take a nap. I feel a little better after that and don't have another attack until we roll into the driveway at the Girl's parents house. Scary.
2. Madison Rendezvous.
The Lorax rus over to give Andreas a big hug. Andreas looks embarrassed, and he doesn't feel like hugging me either. I have lunch with the Ex, our two shared kids, their new step-sisters and the Lorax. It it pleasant, although disagreements are always breewing under the surface.
3. Is my son retarded?
Andreas is 7 and can't zip up his jacket (he can zip up everything else, but the jacket is apparently very challenging. He doesn't hear anything I tell him, stops mid-sentence, stops mid-putting on socks, mid-everything. When I bring anywhere public, he bumps into everything and everyone.
4. In the onions.
We're at the children's museum in Madison. The power-moms, who are done feeding their kids organic snacks, eye us sceptically as I let Andreas into the kiddie-area. It looked so appealing, and both he and the Lorax wanted in. I figure I can pretend we are both playing with the Lorax. Two minutes later, Andreas is hiding in a mud hut, banging fake fruits and breads together. With me 104 degree fever spiking at this moment, I feel unable to get in through the opening to yank him out of the hut (and the kiddie area). Instead, out steps Andreas, holding a some rubber fruit (a large plum?), which he proceeds to hurl at me.
It hits me square in the nut-sack.
I point at him, letting him know that he'd better follow orders, or there will be hell. He ducks into the hut, re-emerges with another fruit (this time a yam?) and hurls it at me.
You guessed it; direct shot to the onions.
He runs away, onto some swinging bridge, where I finally catch up to him. I grab him so hard, he starts crying. and pulled him out of the kiddie area. I get him into the back area and gave him a scolding he won't soon forget.
Of course I realize that this is all my fault. How did my life end up like this?
5. So Many Kisses
I am buying some shirts for Andreas at Dick's sporting goods. The Lorax is tired and getting ill, too. He keeps begging for stuff, as he sits on my shoulders, resting his snotty face on my head. I speak English to Andreas in front of the guy at the register but then the Lorax yells that he wants to ride in the bus outside the store. I say "only if I get a kiss". He bends down precariously to give me a snotty kiss and murmurs "dad, I give you so many kisses today". The register guy looks at us with a bewildered look.
6. Is my son a genius?
Jeebus. We are playing chess and Andreas knows how to play! Not just that; he concentrates, and he is good. I play without my queen, and with that handicap we have an even game until he makes a couple of mistakes. We rewind some moves so he can see how he can better defend himself, and he learns from his mistakes. Hmm?
He draws and writes stories. He focuses on robots and monsters with an excessive amount of weapons and powers, but there are intricate details in each drawing and his stories are good. One year ago, he couldn't even read, and now he writes full stories about heroes and dragons. Not hmm. Wow.
7. I Narrowly Miss Sarah Palin.
We almost got stuck in the protests around the Capitol, which have been simmering all week, We are on our way to see Rango, so this political stuff is inconsequential. Turns out Sarah Palin was there speaking to the Tea Partiers of Wisconsin.
8. My trail in La Crosse.
The Lorax got picked up by my mother-in-law, whereas the two other kids were at my Ex's house. My illness had been retreating for the last few days, and I go out for my first run in 6 days. Whew, the first few miles are rusty, then the legs get golden. The trail is the same; I run it without thinking. My feet know all the roots and rocks. One section washed away, but that has happened several times in the last few years.
9. I am in Love.
I miss the Girl more than I had expected. A vacation just isn't the same without her. We Skype and she flashed me. I feel ten years younger.
10. The Doctor Gets Ill part Deux.
I get back from my run, and prepare to shower. I have vaguely been aware of a rash on my forearms all day. My arms are all freckles and moles and hair, so a rash doesn't stand out like it does on, say, other humans. I take off my shirt and - BOOM! - I see a massive maculo-papular rash on my arms, chest, neck and back. And face, I realize! Shit, a rash like this a short week after getting a sore throat! Add to this the fact that Natali was diagnosed with strep throat the day before and this screams... Scarlet fever!
Jeebus. I called in some amoxicillin for myself three minutes later.
As always, my vacations are never boring. And I should add that the last 48 hours with Andreas have been the best we have had in years.